Essay PreviewMore ↓
In the 1930s, America’s Great Plains experienced a disastrous drought causing thousands of people to migrate west. As their land was devastated by the Dust Bowl, deprived farmers were left with few options but to leave. The Grapes of Wrath depicts the journey of the Joads, an Oklahoma based family which decides to move to California in search of better conditions. Coming together as thirteen people at the start, the Joads will undertake what represents both a challenge and their only hope. Among them are only four women embodying every ages: the Grandma, the Mother and her two daughters, the pregnant Rose of Sharon and the young Ruthie. Appearing in Chapter Eight the mother, who is referred to as “Ma”, holds a decisive role in Steinbeck’s novel. She is, along with her son Tom (the main character of the book), present from the early stage of the story until its very end. We will attempt to trace back her emotional journey (I) as well as to analyze its universal aspects and to deliver an overall impression on the book (II).
Steinbeck describes Ma as a strong woman, physically “heavy, thick with childbearing and work” (Chap.8). From the moment the author introduces her to the reader, she displays two qualities that remain throughout the book: generosity and self-control. Her first word aims to welcome stranger at the family table (“Let’em come”).
How to Cite this Page
"Ma Joad in the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Jul 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad is the protagonist. After serving four years in jail for murder, he is finally out on parole. When Tom is first introduced, he is portrayed as a negative character. Tom is stubborn and likes things to go his way. In the beginning of the novel Tom lives his life day by day, the future does concern him. Throughout the novel Tom develops from a man only interested in his own independent personal needs and desires to someone who is devoted to his family, and is willing to sacrifice his own personal comfort for their benefit.... [tags: The Grapes of Wrath, persuasive, argumentative]
739 words (2.1 pages)
- The Metamorphosis of Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath Tom Joad from Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath is a prime example of a person whose morals and spiritual growth cannot be restricted by the law or any other limiting factor for long. Throughout the novel he develops from a man only interested in his own independent personal desires and needs to one who is devoted to his family and sacrifices his own personal comfort for the benefit of the family. At the novel's end Tom is continuing Jim Casy's generous work of uniting the poor hand laborers against the rich oppressive landowners who are starving the poor with low wages.... [tags: The Grapes of Wrath]
2551 words (7.3 pages)
- Did you enjoy reading The Grapes of Wrath. Why or why not. From my point of perspective, The Grapes of Wrath was a tremendous and marvelous novel depicting the struggles the migrant farmers had to face, to the different characters experiences throughout the novel, and their ways they revolutionize through the situations present in the novel. It was all too shocking but also surprising especially in the conclusion of the novel. I personally favored this book both directly and indirectly. Some of the major events and details brought my attention to directly and indirectly is how the structure of the book in overall that Steinbeck puts in place for this setting and type of book this is, brough... [tags: moder society, dust bowl, joad]
1384 words (4 pages)
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck What does it take for one to achieve the American dream. What kinds of struggles does one need to overcome to achieve their goals in life. In the classic novel The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, you can follow the Joad family in the pursuit to their dreams and the difficulties they faced and overcame. The Joad family faced numerous conflicts including; men, society, nature, and him/herself but overcame many to keep pushing them towards their dream; to go to California and find a better life.... [tags: Steinbeck Grapes Wrath]
1007 words (2.9 pages)
- A clear concept in John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath was the way families were run. At the beginning of the twentieth century, men led the family. They made the decisions and they made the money for the family while the women worked behind the scenes and kept everything going. What the men did not realize, or did not want to recognize, was that the women were the ones who were really in control. Though they did not take credit for it, they were the ones who bought and cooked the food the men ate, bore and reared the children the men helped create, and did everything they could to make a better life for themselves and their families.... [tags: John Steinbeck, Grapes Of Wrath,]
1054 words (3 pages)
- In a crisis, a person's true colors emerge. The weak are separated from the strong and the leaders are separated from the followers. In John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath, the Joad family, forced from their home in Oklahoma, head to California in search of work and prosperity only to find poverty and despair. As a result of a crisis, Ma Joad emerges as a controlled, forceful, and selfless authority figure for the family. Ma Joad exhibits exelent self-control during the sufferings and frustrations of the Joad's journey.... [tags: Grapes Wrath essays]
705 words (2 pages)
- John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath Throughout his book, the Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck employs the principles of Foucault’s theory that power exists as a result of consent. This is particularly the case in the relations between the Joad family. Chapter ten includes specific scenes in which the family members’ assumed positions of power are focused on and explained. When Jim Casy asks if he can accompany the Joads on their migratory trip to California, Ma looks to Tom to speak, “because he [is] a man”.... [tags: John Steinbeck Grapes Wrath Essays]
512 words (1.5 pages)
- The Power of Religion in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck's epic novel, The Grapes of Wrath, chronicles the struggles of the Joads as they join the thousands of fellow "Okies" in a mass migration westward. The Joads reluctantly leave behind their Oklahoma farm in search of work and food in California. While Steinbeck writes profoundly and emotionally about the political problems of the Great Depression, his characters also show evidence of a deep concern with spirituality. When they feel hopeless and are uncertain about their immediate future, their concentration on religion dwindles.... [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck]
2419 words (6.9 pages)
- The Power of The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck has become one of my favorite writers -- for the love he has for his characters, the loveliness of his language, and the clear-eyed conviction with which he writes. Originally, I failed to see the beauty in Steinbeck's people, though it is plainly there. Perhaps I hadn't seen enough of the world myself, yet. There was a lot I didn't understand about people. What Steinbeck does so well is to show people's struggle for simple human decency in the face of meanness and ignorance.... [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck]
1104 words (3.2 pages)
- Unity of a Family Explored in The Grapes of Wrath One would say that on a literal level The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is about the Joad family's journey to California during The Dust Bowl. However, it is also about the unity of a family and the concept of birth and death, both literal and abstract. Along with this, the idea of a family unit is explored through these births and deaths. As can be seen in The Grapes of Wrath, the Joads are a very tight-knit family. Yet on their trip to California, they experience many losses and additions to their family.... [tags: The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck]
805 words (2.3 pages)
Ma Joad represents the matriarch, a figure of power in the household. Although she does not detain the authority that rests with the father in the early stage, she shapes key decisions for the family. She bears the characteristics of universal motherhood: Ma is protective as most mothers are. She plays the role of a healer for the group and provides shelter for her children. She refuses to see her sons leave and they would have to hide from her to do so (as did Noah: “You tell Ma”). Nevertheless does she have a favorite son in Tom (“Ain’t he a fine boy!”), which I would reckon is a universal aspect of motherhood. Ma’s portrait validates various clichés on marital relationships: she takes care of the household while she expects her husband to make a living. Out of resources, these ‘classic’ rules do not apply and the parents find themselves equal in dealing with the problems. Akin the rest of the family, Ma is a very proud character who does not like to be told what to do to such extent that she sometimes appears stubborn: “I won’t take no whuppin’, cryin’ an’ a-beggin’” (Chap.16).
The book does wonders in revealing the authenticity of the Joads and their encounters. The alternation of long and short chapters provides the narration with rhythm. Although each of the characters carries its share of wrongdoing, from murder to mere selfishness, I find them attractive. They display a great deal of generosity and honesty. Perhaps the most appealing aspects is their conduct towards strangers: whether they barely know someone (in the case of Jim Casy), or they do not know someone at all (in the case of the Wilsons), the Joad will offer their help or else tell them straight their thoughts (e.g. “Ya full a crap!” to the one-eyed man). I particularly enjoyed reading the numerous dialogs in Steinbeck’s most direct style: “Seems like his language gets worse ever’ year. Showing off I guess!” (Ma, Chap.8). They provide the reader with an excellent mixture of serious content and hilarious expressions. Former preacher Jim Casy would best represent that balance as he addresses sacred issues such as faith in the most entertaining ways: his expression is often exaggerated but sometimes sensible. The utopia he speaks up for of a world where community prevails is well orchestrated. The Grapes of Wrath undeniably deserves its Nobel Prize.